Even at the height of holiday baking, rarely do we find ourselves eager to reach for a rolling pin to bust out a classic pie. Which is why we take our cue from Italian bakers and instead knock out a simple crostata. These easy tarts deliver all the pleasure of pie but rely on pantry staples and just 20 minutes hands-on time.

We start with pasta frolla, a quintessentially Italian pastry used as the rich, buttery base for all manner of cookies, pies and tarts. We love this dough—a mixture of flour, butter, sugar and salt, plus an egg to bind it all together—for its delicate sweetness, which we further enhance with a little cornmeal for crunch and sweet corn flavor. Lemon zest lends bright, citrusy zing.

And assembly couldn’t be simpler. The dough is mixed in a food processor, then pressed—no rolling pin needed—into a tart pan. The filling? Whatever fruit preserves you happen to have on hand. Cherry and raspberry are our favorites, but marmalade also is wonderful. We balance the sweetness with a jolt of acidity from lemon juice and zest, plus a few cranks of black pepper to nudge things in a savory direction. As a final flourish, a bit of reserved dough does double duty as a sweet streusel topping.